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 Betreff des Beitrags: has shown signs of improvement rec
BeitragVerfasst: 01.02.2018, 03:53 

Registriert: 14.12.2017, 10:06
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It really didnt come as a surprise that the Florida Panthers fired head coach Kevin Dineen Friday, but its not like a change in the coaching staff is going to magically cure what ails this team. Any time a team fails to meet expectations, coaches end up on the chopping block, but that leads to the question: why would there have been expectations put upon the Florida Panthers for the 2013-2014 season? Go back to the 2011-2012 season, when the Panthers won the Southeast Division, with 94 points in 82 games, despite recording 32 regulation and overtime wins, a total that tied non-playoff teams Buffalo, Carolina (who finished last in the Southeast Division) and Colorado for 20th in the league. The Panthers also had a minus-24 goal differential, so anything beyond the point total in the standings suggested they were not really a playoff-calibre team. Consider them a prime example of a team not being what its record is. Then the Panthers proceeded to lose in double-overtime of Game Seven (after losing in overtime in Game Six) in the first round of the playoffs against the eventual Eastern-Conference-Champion New Jersey Devils, making it easy to sell the idea that the Panthers were "this close" to competing with the top teams in the league. It needs to be noted, however, that the Panthers overachieved in 2011-2012, to even generate mediocre results disguised as playoff-worthy. Florida needed to spend a lot of money in the summer of the 2011 season just to get above the salary floor and, as a result, cobbled together a make-shift roster, handing out some contracts that had surprisingly long-term implications. Sure, Florida signed Tomas Fleischmann (four years, $18-million), and he scored a career-high 61 points in 2011-2012, and has generally been a productive scorer since. C Marcel Goc (three years, $5.19-million) has been okay and G Jose Theodore (two years, $3-million) was a low-risk move, but the Panthers also inked RW Scottie Upshall (four years, $14-million), D Ed Jovanovski (four years, $16.5-million) and LW Sean Bergenheim (four years, $11-million), none of whom has provided a decent return on investment. (Injuries have admittedly played a part in their lack of production.) The Panthers also dipped into GM Dale Tallons past and traded for some former Chicago Blackhawks: D Brian Campbell, RW Kris Versteeg and RW Tomas Kopecky. That roster didnt have any business harbouring playoff expectations yet, with Dineen taking over for Peter DeBoer behind the bench, the Panthers defied the odds and reached the postseason, thanks in large part to Fleischmann, Versteeg and Stephen Weiss, their top line that combined for 70 goals and 172 points. Campbell added 53 points while playing nearly 27 minutes per game. That quartet made up the entire list of Florida Panthers to record more than 33 points that season, so there wasnt a lot coming from the supporting cast. The 2013 season brought much worse results, particularly when injuries limited Weiss and Versteeg to a total of 27 games and the goaltending went from decent, ranking 11th with a .914 save percentage, to a league-worst .887 save percentage in the lockout-shortened 2013 season. Those injuries, and subpar goaltending, over a small-sample season may have been what led Tallon to still harbour expectations for this team coming into the 2013-2014 season. Or maybe its because there is a new owner calling the shots that the Panthers couldnt simply see the 2013-2014 season as one for development of their young talent. After all, the Panthers have added some promising young players including LW Jonathan Huberdeau, C Aleksander Barkov and C Nick Bjugstad, who are all playing significant minutes. D Erik Gudbranson, the third overall pick in 2010, and D Dmitry Kulikov, the 14th pick in 2009 are still works in progress, but young enough to be part of what the Panthers are trying to build. G Jacob Markstrom is supposed to be the goaltender of the future, even if the 23-year-old has struggled this year. Forwards Vincent Trocheck and Drew Shore and defencemen Alex Petrovic and Colby Robak have been in the AHL, playing for new head coach Peter Horacheck. Trocheck, who has 11 points in 11 games as a first-year pro and nearly made the Panthers out of training camp, could get his opportunity soon. In the summer of 2013, the Panthers didnt spend big money, but brought in a lot of veterans on low-money deals. Defencemen Tom Gilbert has been a bargain as a top-four defenceman while Matt Gilroy and checking forward Jesse Winchester have been decent. Veteran forwards Brad Boyes and Scott Gomez along with blueliner Ryan Whitney have not been effective and goaltender Tim Thomas hasnt been able to stay healthy in his attempt to return to action after a year off. As a result, the Panthers have the leagues 28th-ranked goal differential (minus-1.36 per game), ahead of only the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres. Unfortunately, the goaltending hasnt gotten any better this season, ranking 28th with an .885 save percentage, and no team can win with goaltending of that calibre, let alone a team that isnt scoring at the other end of the ice and the Panthers rank 29th in 5-on-5 shooting percentage when the score is close. The good news, according to the probabilities of advanced stats, is that the Panthers arent likely to maintain such terrible shooting and save percentages all season, so they are due to get some better results; a little "puck luck" as it were. Of course, being better than their current 3-9-4 record doesnt mean all that much. When those young players start to control play more consistently and the Panthers start getting adequate goaltending, they may turn the corner, but thats going to require patience and the expectations placed on this team dont necessarily allow for patience. Trouble is, when a general manager makes moves that appear to reveal a lack of patience, its fair to start wondering if the next one on the chopping block will be the GM. Scott Cullen can be reached at and followed on Twitter at For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. Brian McCann Jersey . Belfort was originally schedule to fight Chris Weidman at UFC 173 on May 24, but a Nevada State Athletic Commission ban on testosterone replacement therapy forced the former light heavyweight champ to withdraw. Carlos Lee Astros Jersey . Wawrinka, who is seeded fourth, is in the top half of the draw with Serbian Novak Djokovic. The Swiss star outlasted Djokovic in a five-set quarterfinal thriller last year and stunned Spaniard Rafael Nadal in the final to capture his first-ever Grand Slam title. ... os-jersey/. He left in the 4th inning of Saturdays game against the Tigers after experiencing tightness. Reyes and the team still hope that he will be ready for Opening Day in Tampa Bay in one week. J.R. Richard Jersey . And theyre pointing to the NHLs biggest market: Toronto. With Gretzky paid out for what is believed to be $7 to 8 million, Gretzky may be eager to get back into the NHL and TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reports that the Maple Leafs are very much interested in The Great Ones services. Houston Astros Carlos Beltran Jersey .C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes used a strong third period to extend their winning streak to three games.It is the one major trophy missing from his collection, but is Novak Djokovic further away from winning the French Open this year than he was in 2015? James Walker-Roberts looks at his preparation and rivals... Even before beating Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals in Paris last year, Djokovic was the favourite. After seeing off the Spaniard in straight sets, even his semi-final opponent Andy Murray conceded this was the Serbs best chance to win the tournament. Murray provided a stern test, taking Djokovic to five sets before he won his 28th match in a row.But then came the Stan Wawrinka whirlwind. In just over three hours, Wawrinka hit almost 60 winners to stun Djokovic and win his second Grand Slam title. Djokovic could barely hold back the tears in his post-match speech, but there would always be next year, wouldnt there? Certainly at the start of 2016, before the European clay season started, he was the overwhelming favourite for the French Open. But his preparations have not exactly gone according to plan. Watch highlights from the Rome Masters final as Murray beat Djokovic While he did win impressively in Madrid, that was after suffering a shock defeat to Jiri Vesely in his first match in Monaco. Then, most recently, came the Rome Masters.After being bageled in a three-set win over Thomaz Bellucci, the Serb beat Nadal in a high-quality contest before battling past Kei Nishikori in the semi-finals. During that match, Djokovic was warned by the umpire for hitting a ball close to a ball boy in frustration, and there were more signs of annoyance in the final.Djokovic complained to the umpire for not stopping play due to rain and also got a warning for bouncing his racket into the crowd during the surprisingly one-sided 6-3 6-3 defeat to Murray.The chair umpire was on fire today. He really wanted to show his authority to me. So congratulations to him, said the world No 1 afterwards. Djokovic was frustrated during his Rome Masters defeat to Murray Was the pressure of the upcoming French Open playing on Djokovics mind? While he did have a tough schedule in Rome - not finishing his semi-final on Satturday until after 11pm - there were signs that he was short on patience, even though he played it down after the final.ddddddddddddI dont feel that Im doubtful or Im shaken up by this loss, he said. Of course, you dont like to lose, but youve got to congratulate the better player that played well today, Andy, and he deserved to win. I move on to Paris knowing that Im going to approach it hopefully healthy and refreshed and then giving it my all, as always. A three-time beaten finalist in Paris (2012, 2014 and 2015), Djokovic will start as the strong favourite again despite his defeats in Monaco and Rome. But he is not without challengers. Murray won the Rome Masters after beating Djokovic in the final Murray in particular looks better placed than ever to compete for the title. Having reached the semi-finals in Monaco and final in Madrid, Murrays victory in Rome not only gave him a timely confidence boost but also saw him reclaim the world No 2 spot, meaning he could not meet Djokovic until the final in Paris.Im going to Roland Garros with a lot of confidence and really good preparation. I feel like Im on the right track. So hopefully I can have a good run there, he said after winning the Rome Masters.Murray has enjoyed success on clay in the past, and pushed Djokovic close in five sets in Paris last year, but says he has a new-found belief on the surface.I had always been told that clay should really be my best surface, but it took me a long time to gain a little bit of confidence, he said. But also I did make huge improvements in my movement on the surface, as well. Nadal has shown signs of improvement recently That has changed my mentality when I go on the court a lot. I dont feel like Im off-balance anymore and I feel like I can chase most balls down. Its an easy surface for me to move on now.One man who has never had any trouble moving on clay is Nadal. After a spell of battling to find his best form, the nine-time French Open champion has shown signs of improvement over the last month, winning in Monaco and then going toe-to-toe with Djokovic in Rome.Given he will be seeded fifth in Paris - and has lost the last 15 sets against Djokovic - he will be hoping to avoid the world No 1 until the final weekend.Whatever the draw, though, the pressure will be on Djokovic again. Is this his year? Or will the wait go on?Check our game-by-game updates of the French Open final on, our app for mobile devices and iPad and our Twitter account @skysportstennis.By purchasing a Sky Sports Day Pass for £6.99 or Sky Sports Week Pass for £10.99, you can enjoy access to all seven Sky Sports channels and watch on a TV with a NOW TV Box or on a range of devices. Also See: French Open classics Nadals La Decima Murrays French Open odds Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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